Hey, everybody!  We got the chance to have Amanda interact with us here at WinterPromise.  Amanda is one of our bloggers and has done a review for us in the past and is currently experiencing the “Thanksgiving 1621” program.  We love having her on our team.  It was very enjoyable to hear what she had to say about life, homeschooling and her thoughts on a dream planner even!  Amanda is an enthusiastic homeschooler and blogs about her and her family at hopkinshomeschool.com.  Her thoughts should inspire you, too!

WP:  Tell us about you and your family Amanda.
Amanda:  I am a stay at home mom to my three beautiful children. I live in east central Minnesota with my husband of 8 years. Our oldest two are boys, they are 13 and 5 years old. Our youngest is a little princess who is 2.5 years old. We love playing outside in the many different weather conditions we have here.

WP:  What inspired you to homeschool your kids and when did you start?
Amanda:  Our oldest son was in public school until the middle of his 6thgrade year. Our middle son went to public preschool for two months. When our middle son didn’t like preschool we thought we would be able to do preschool at home no problem. Than when our oldest started to have some issues at school and we were busy “helping” the school a little too much we decided to pull him out.

We have been homeschooling for almost a full year now. We now have a 7thgrader, Kindergartener and tot schooler. We plan on continuing this journey with our kids for as long as the Lord allows us to (I hope until they graduate).

WP:  What are the different companies that you have tried? Have you ever tried to go it alone?
Amanda:  When we first started I used Easy Peasy All-in-one Homeschool. Over the summer I did a lot of piecing things together and I am in love with Pinterest for those in a rush moments of needing something quick.

WP:  Amanda, when did you first experience WinterPromise and what were your first impressions?
Amanda:  The first time I ever heard about WinterPromise, honestly, was when I did a Google search for a Charlotte Mason style curriculum. I came to the website and was in love with everything I saw. When I was invited to help promote the opening of Spirited~Autumn~Hope, I jumped for joy! I love how everything is planned out and I just need to grab and go. This makes it much easier to spend more time doing the fun stuff with my family.

WP:  What has been your favorite program with us and why?
Amanda:  My Kindergarten son would say that his favorite program was Simple Machines, and that would be because he got to do a lot of that with Daddy. I personally really enjoy the new Thanksgiving in 1621. Like I already said, I love that everything is done for me, but I also love that it covers Thanksgiving from both the Pilgrim’s and the Indian’s point of views. There was a lot of work put into this program and it shows!

WP:  From your perspective, Amanda, what makes WinterPromise different from any other curriculum?
Amanda:  A lot of the curriculum options that I have looked at are really just the facts that are needed for the kids to learn and don’t have a lot of fun added into them. I don’t like the black and white get it done type of school. WinterPromise does not do that at all. There are lots of fun things added into the different weeks. Something as simple as drawing a picture of what we are learning about make it that much more fun for my kids.

Another thing I like about WinterPromise is the different themes. I like knowing that we are staying on one theme and I am able to find extra books or coloring pages to go with that theme. It is fun to see the house transform into the different themes that we are learning about.

WP:  Amanda, there has to be a funny story or two from homeschooling that you have. Tell us a good one!
Amanda:  Over the summer we watch my friend’s kids. We started school the last week of their summer vacation, but ended up taking it easy and not being too strict on everything. When they had to go back to school, they were crying that it wasn’t fair that my kids got to sleep in late and do school in their pajamas.

WP:  Do you have any opinions on a WinterPromise planner? What would be in your dream planner to help you stay organized?
Amanda:  My dream planner would include a weekly schedule that had a space for each child. It would have to have pretty colors and/or pictures in it. As fun as digital planners are, I am a pen and paper girl when it comes to planners.

WP:  Have you ever used any of our ebook options?  What was your experience with them?
Amanda:  Although I love the paper and pen for planners, I love the eBook options when it comes to curriculum. I am able to get the item so much quicker than waiting for it to come in the mail! I can print what I want to print and store the rest on my computer or tablet until I need it.

WP:  Amanda, how does your husband stay involved in the homeschooling, or does he let you handle most of it?
Amanda:  My husband is an over the road truck driver. He loves to have me ask his opinions on things, but he mostly plays the role of principal, while I am the teacher. When he is home the kids love to cuddle with him and listen to him read. When it comes to those “boy” things, like Simple Machines, he loves to get involved and will add in many life topics for the kids to learn about. The kids get to tell him about what they learned each day and he loves to quiz them on different items. Even though he isn’t “home” every day, he is still a part of school each and every day.

Thanks so much, Amanda! As we mentioned, you can follow Amanda and her family at hopkinshomeschool.com. We love hearing about how much our families enjoy learning together. It sounds like Amanda is a fun teacher!

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